Career Development FAQ 2021-10-19T12:04:40+00:00

Frequently Asked Questions About the Career Development System

LA Pathways Early Learning Center Career Development System is a major initiative funded by Louisiana Department of Education to improve quality of child care in Louisiana. It consists of a Training Registry, Scholarship Program, and Career Ladders for caregivers, administrators, and trainers.
Enrollment in the Career Development System is strictly voluntary. Some centers make it a requirement for employment; unless your employer requires it, participation is not required. Membership and participation in LA Pathways is required to participate in the School Readiness Tax Credits for Directors and Staff.
Complete an Enrollment Form and an Employment Verification form. Submit them along with documentation of any training or education that you have.
You will submit documentation of any training or other early childhood training. Always keep a copy of any information you submit.
Make a list of all training you have taken and experience you have had. Compare it with the Career Ladder and decide where your experience and training best fits. Fill out the appropriate application. Attach documentation such as copies of training certificates and employment verification and send it to us. Always keep a copy of any information you submit.
Training and experience are keys to moving to the next level of recognition. You will receive a letter from LA Pathways when you achieve a certain level. On that letter will be information telling you what training and/or experience you need in order to advance to the next level. Submit the new documentation when completed for re-evaluation and advancement to a higher level placement.
Increasingly, parents are seeking quality educational programs. As an administrator, you’re interested in keeping vacancies filled and running a quality program; as a caregiver, you’ll be able to do a better job because you have the skills you need.
Much of the necessary training is inexpensive. Some training is already required for licensing or registration. Scholarships are available for CDA assessment fees, Family Child Care Home Accreditation, college courses, administration training, and some other purposes. Contact the Scholarship Coordinator for information about scholarships. There is no charge to enroll in the Career Development System or to submit an application to be recognized at a higher level.
Training projects funded by the Department of Education will count. Additionally, look for the Pathways logo on approved training or ask the presenter. Making sure training is approved for the Career Development System ensures the trainers have met requirements in education, experience, and knowledge of adult learning and presentation skills.

Contact the Career Development System Coordinator for information. Acceptance is based on the trainer’s credentials. Approved trainers will be automatically accepted for three years. At the end of the three years, they will need to re-apply and document their orientation to the Career Development System and continued education in presentation skills and/or adult learning principles to be re-approved for the next three years.

Training events on presentation skills and adult learning principles will be held around the state as a part of the Career Development System. Additionally, organizations such as the American Society for Training and Development and Toastmasters may conduct events in your area. Another option is attendance at interest groups sessions focusing on training at state, regional, or national conference, or taking a college class. There are several online sessions for trainers available with plans for more to be developed.
The Registry is the statewide database of all persons enrolled in the Career Development System and a permanent record of the training they have submitted. Through the Registry, participants will be notified of the next step in the Career Development System and receive various rewards and recognition for their accomplishments.
As a family child care provider, you are an important part of the Career Development System. The CDA Credential includes a specialist in family child care. Additionally, scholarships are available for any family child care provider to apply for the CDA assessment ($300 of the $325 required) or for the accreditation fee ($475 of the $495 required) for the National Association for Family Child Care.
Yes. You will want to select training focusing on the needs of school age children.
Core knowledge subject areas are designed to ensure your training is well-rounded to prepare you with necessary skills for working with young children in a group setting. Core knowledge areas are the same as subject areas of training required for the Child Development Associate. Having training in a variety of subject areas will help you get a good start in meeting CDA requirements for your next step in the Career Development System.
You do. You may select workshops or special sessions of interest to you, attend CDA classes, attend a technical college, take online classes, or take college classes. To ensure you get the required number of hours in each category, be sure to note the CDA category.
Training sessions conducted by various Small Business Development Centers are accepted. These centers are a part of many state universities. Scholarships are available for some sessions which have fee.

More workshops and other training sessions as well as conference sessions are being developed to meet the requirements for the Administrator Certificate. Some of the Directors’ Network sessions will count.

Training provided by the Bureau of Licensing or any other child care regulatory agency, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (for centers or family child care providers on the program) will count in the appropriate categories.

Look for the Pathways logo and designation that the training is approved for the Administrator Certificate categories. In most cases, a code will follow the topic similar to the CDA codes now used.

However, some sessions may be accepted that are not identified. If the training is clearly helpful in meeting the needs of center directors, it will likely count. For example, a seminar on changes in tax laws would be relevant; a session on quality control in manufacturing likely would not.

Clock hours refer to the actual time you spend in a training session. For example, if you attend a workshop that begins at 9 am and ends at noon you will get 3 clock hours of training. This is the way training is counted for center licensing and family child care registration.

A CEU is different from a clock hour but can be used to meet clock hour requirements or toward a CDA. For example, one CEU equals 10 clock hours of training. A session that lasts 6 hours would give your .6 CEU’s. College courses or CEU’s can be used for meeting the CDA renewal requirement.

Credit hours generally refer to college credit. One college course usually gives you 3 credits although the college course may include approximately 45 hours of classroom time. A college course may count for licensing or CDA depending on the subject matter. For example, a math course might be required for a degree but would not count toward a CDA because it is not in one of the subject areas.

To receive the CDA, all training must be within the last 5 years. At this time, we are exploring appropriate time limits for other training credit for the Career Development System.
The Pathways Trainer Directory is an important component of the Pathways Early Learning Center Career Development System. It is a record of approved trainers and a resource for child care personnel to find the training that they need to advance in the Career Development System.
Being a part of a professional organization is a critical component of most professions. In order to upgrade the public perception of the importance of working with young children, belonging and working with a professional organization can make you part of advocacy efforts as well as offer additional training opportunities.

Applications are available for the following organizations through the Career Development System. Other organizations will be considered upon request:

Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA), 800-305-7322,

Louisiana Early Childhood Association (LAECA) is an affiliate of SECA), (318) 343-2366,

Louisiana Association for the Education of Young Children (LAEYC)
Affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
1-(800) 424-2640

Louisiana Head Start Association (225) 219-4245
Affiliate of the National Head Start Association
Membership in the Louisiana Head Start Association or the National Head Start Association is restricted to Head Start agencies and not individuals.

Child Care Association of Louisiana (CCAL) 1-800-488-2793
Affiliate of National Child Care Association 1-800-543-7161

National After School Association, 800-617-8242,

National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) (800) 359-3817